Final Chapter in Decade-Long Case May Be at Hand
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court last week may have written the final chapter to a sordid legal saga that helped establish Internet domain names as property.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Stephen Cohen's appeal of a 2001 federal court ruling that he pay businessman Gary Kremen $65 million for stealing the domain name Sex.com in 1995 and building it into a multimillion-dollar business.
Kremen regained Sex.com after the 2001 ruling and operates it as part of his San Francisco online company, Grant Media. Cohen left the USA shortly after the ruling and has not paid Kremen.
"In a single word, the appeals court said 'enough,' " says James Wagstaffe, one of several lawyers who has represented Kremen in the decade-long case. "Cohen is a fugitive outside the country, and he doesn't have the right to appeal. I mean, there is a bench warrant for his arrest."